ST. LOUIS – The attorney for a Missouri death row inmate says the state is about to execute an innocent man, but the sheriff where the crime occurred disagrees.
John Middleton is scheduled to die Wednesday. He was a northern Missouri methamphetamine dealer convicted of the 1995 murders of Randy “Happy” Hamilton and Stacey Hodge, then Alfred Pinegar a week-and-a-half later, out of fear they would snitch to police. He was sentenced to death for killing Pinegar.
A witness came forward in February suggesting that two other men were the real killer. Middleton’s attorney, Joseph Perkovich, says police and prosecutors allowed the real killers to fashion the case against Middleton.
Harrison County Sheriff Josh Eckerson revisited the case based on the affidavit of the new witness. His determination: Middleton was the killer.